About Yahoo Email Accounts


Yahoo Mail History

One of the longest-standing Web mail services, Yahoo Mail has 273 million email accounts -- 81 million in the United States -- as of 2014, according to comScore. Yahoo Mail started in 1997 when Yahoo acquired and rebranded RocketMail. At the time, Yahoo Mail accounts offered a mere 4MB of storage space. Yahoo has improved and expanded the service over the years, competing with other free email providers including Google's Gmail, launched in 2004, and Microsoft's Outlook.com, launched in 1996 as Hotmail. As of publication, Yahoo Mail offers a full terabyte of space: enough for practically limitless text emails and a huge library of attachments.

Yahoo IDs

Every Yahoo ID includes a Yahoo email address, as well as access to other Yahoo services such as Yahoo Calendar, Yahoo Groups and Flickr. If you use one of these services, you already have a Yahoo Mail account; just click Mail on the Yahoo home page to open it. To start a new, free Yahoo account for email and other Yahoo services, click Sign In and then click Create Account.

Yahoo accounts require a phone number for verification.
Yahoo accounts require a phone number for verification. (Image: Image courtesy of Yahoo)

In order to expand email address options, Yahoo used to offer email addresses as with @rocketmail.com and @ymail.com domains. As of publication, however, new subscribers can choose only an @yahoo.com address.


  • Outside the U.S., Yahoo offers country-specific domains, such as @yahoo.co.uk in the United Kingdom.

Yahoo Mail Versions

Yahoo has two versions of the Yahoo Mail website, basic and full-featured. The full-featured version, used by default, has various improvements over the basic version, including spell checking, formatting options and photo slideshows.

Use the formatting toolbar below your message to format text and add attachments.
Use the formatting toolbar below your message to format text and add attachments. (Image: Image courtesy of Yahoo)

Switch Versions

Most people should stick to the full-featured site, but if your system lags, freezes or fails while trying to run the site -- if you have a very old computer, a low-resolution monitor or a dial-up connection -- switch to the basic version for a simpler, faster-loading email service. Open the Settings menu with the gear icon, click Settings and open the Viewing Email tab. Choose the Basic mail version and click Save.

All of these settings apply only to the full-featured version.
All of these settings apply only to the full-featured version. (Image: Image courtesy of Yahoo)

To change back, just click Switch to the Newest Yahoo Mail in the corner of any page while using the basic version.

Basic Version Limitations

With the basic version of Yahoo Mail, you're limited to typing in plain text. The basic version does support attachments, but you can't drag and drop files to attach them, and attached photos won't appear as thumbnails in the email. Changing to the basic version won't cause you to lose any data, however; change back to the full-featured version to regain access to the other features.

Click Attach Files to add pictures and other attachments.
Click Attach Files to add pictures and other attachments. (Image: Image courtesy of Yahoo)


  • Yahoo limits children under 13 to the basic version. After turning 13, a child can switch to the full-featured site. If you're over 13 and can't switch to the full-featured site, your computer might not support it. Make sure you're using an up-to-date Web browser, have a screen resolution of at least 1024 by 786 and have JavaScript enabled.

Paid Services

Ad Free Mail

Yahoo doesn't charge home users for any email features, but does display ads on Yahoo Mail pages. To get rid of the ads, subscribe to Ad Free Mail. As of publication, Ad Free Mail costs $49.99 per year. Subscribing also prevents your account from being deactivated or deleted due to inactivity. To join, open the Settings menu on the full-featured site and choose Ad Free Mail.

Business Mail

To use Yahoo Mail for your company's email accounts, subscribe to Yahoo Business Mail. In addition to the features of an Ad Free Mail account, Business Mail includes a custom domain name, unlimited storage space and 24-hour customer support. As of publication, Yahoo Business Mail costs $34.95 annually per email address or $9.95 monthly for unlimited email addresses on one domain.

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